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Crosby unlikely to be cleared during road trip

Tuesday, 10.04.2011 / 2:15 PM / NHL Insider

By Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby doesn't expect to be cleared for contact during the Pittsburgh Penguins' season-opening road trip.
 
Crosby, out with a concussion since Jan. 6, accompanied the Penguins on Tuesday as they left to open the season Thursday night in Vancouver. The Penguins also stop in Calgary and Edmonton, and Crosby plans to take part in all three scheduled game-day skates and two practices during the trip.
 
Because Crosby won't be seeing any of his doctors until the Penguins return home, it isn't likely he'll switch his white practice helmet -- which signifies no contact -- to the team's regular black helmet.
 
"I'm happy to be out there, and when the time comes (for contact) I'll make sure I'm ready," Crosby said after practicing Tuesday. "To be honest, I'm just happy to be out there and working hard. It was a long time I wasn't able to do that. It's nice to be out there and go hard."
 

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Crosby had no setbacks during training camp, taking part in all scheduled practices and ramping up his exertion level to 100 percent. During the offseason, he was troubled at times by post-concussion symptoms when he attempted to accelerate his training.
 
Crosby hasn't experienced any of those symptoms, including headaches and dizziness, since camp opened Sept. 17 -- making him optimistic that he will be allowed to fully practice in the near future. If there are no more symptoms after that, he expects to be cleared to play.
 
This will be Crosby's first in-season trip to Vancouver since his overtime goal there on Feb. 28, 2010, gave Canada a memorable 3-2 victory over the United States in the Olympic gold-medal game. That goal came less than a year after he helped lead the Penguins to the Stanley Cup.
 
"A little different watching," Crosby said. "Still, some great memories there. It's nice to just be going with the team and starting a new season, even if (I'm) not playing. It's kind of a fresh start and we all look forward to that."
 
Crosby, as expected, was placed on the injured reserve list Monday as the Penguins formulated their 23-man roster for the start of the season.
 
The procedural move allowed the Penguins to keep another forward, but doesn't affect when Crosby could return. Because he was on injured reserve at the end of last season, he can be activated at any time once he gets the go-ahead to resume playing.

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday